Interview with Professor Egbert (Bert) Bakker conducted by Ms Emma M. Jones, for the History of Modern Biomedicine Research Group, 27 October 2015, in the Wellcome Trust, London. Transcribed by Mrs Debra Gee, and edited by Professor Tilli Tansey and Ms Emma M. Jones. The project management of Mr Adam Wilkinson and the technical support (filming and production) of Mr Alan Yabsley are gratefully acknowledged.
Professor Egbert (Bert) Bakker PhD (b. 1951) studied chemistry in Delft (BSc), and continued his studies at Leiden University (1975-1976) where he was also a technician (1977-1989). During this period he worked closely with Professor Peter L Pearson and pioneered molecular genetic techniques, which led to the first prenatal diagnosis of Duchenne muscular dystrophy in 1985. In 1989 he completed his doctoral research on Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and the same year he was awarded the Lustrum Prize by the Dutch Human Genetics Society. In 1990 he became Head of the DNA diagnostic section in Leiden University’s Clinical Genetic Centre and Associate Professor at the Department of Human Genetics. In conjunction with these roles, he was Head of the Forensic DNA Laboratory at Leiden (1994-2000). In 2000 he was appointed Professor of Molecular Genetic Diagnosis at Leiden University Medical Center, where he continued as Head of the Laboratory for Diagnostic Genome Analysis, till April 2015, when he stepped down as Head of the laboratory and ceased his management duties.
The History of Modern Biomedicine Research Group is funded by the Wellcome Trust, which is a registered charity (no. 210183). The current interview has been funded by the Wellcome Trust Strategic Award entitled “Makers of modern biomedicine: testimonies and legacy” (2012-2017; awarded to Professor Tilli Tansey).
The interview is part of the History of the Modern Biomedicine Interviews (Digital Collection).
Access to the transcript of this video interview and its related material:
History of Modern Biomedicine Interviews (Digital Collection), items e2017075-e2017082.
Example of how to cite: Jones E M (intvr); Yabsley A (prod) (2017) Bakker, Bert: 01 - Becoming a medical geneticist; Leiden & Peter Pearson (27-Oct-2015). History of Modern Biomedicine Interviews (Digital Collection), item e2017076. London: Queen Mary University of London.
Note: Video interviews are conducted following standard oral history methodology, and have received ethical approval (reference QMREC 0642). Video interview transcripts are edited only for clarity and factual accuracy. Related material has been deposited in the Wellcome Library.
© The Trustee of the Wellcome Trust, London, 2017.
Professor Bakker has contributed to three Witness Seminars: 'Clinical Molecular Genetics in the UK c.1975–c.2000'; 'Human Gene Mapping Workshops c.1973-c.1991'; and ‘Therapeutic Implications of Muscular Dystrophy Genomics’ (forthcoming 2016/2017).